The aesthetically pleasing Dell Studio Hybrid PC has a terrific compact design, but it sacrifices performance for miniaturisation.

Dell's new Studio Hybrid makes a strong impression with its stylish design, and its price will make you take notice, too. A basic configuration starts at £569, without monitor; our test configuration, with a 19-inch LCD monitor, will cost around £610.

Dell bills the Dell Studio Hybrid PC as being 80 percent smaller than a typical desktop. To achieve this feat of miniaturisation, the Hybrid uses notebook computer components.

Our test configuration featured a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T8100 CPU, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and Intel Mobile 965 Express Chipset integrated graphics. Other options include built-in draft 802.11n Wi-Fi, a TV tuner, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. The Dell Studio Hybrid PC isn't expandable (or user serviceable), so there's no graphics option beyond the integrated Intel graphics.

The Dell Studio Hybrid PC can be set in a vertical or horizontal configuration; glowing blue Dell logos appear on the top and bottom (or left and right, if vertical) of the unit, and the name "Hybrid" automatically orients itself depending on whether you stand the computer vertically or horizontally. An included stand helps the Dell Studio Hybrid PC stay upright.

The ports (HDMI, DVI, gigabit ethernet, a Kensington lock, SP/DIF, and line-in and line-out; a four-pin FireWire 400 port and three USB 2.0 ports) are all neatly arranged in the back, which helps with cable management. Up front, you'll find a slot-loading 8x dual-layer DVD burner at left (if vertical), and a headphone jack, two more USB ports, and an 8-in-1 memory card reader at right.